The picture that shows the colossal scale of the D-Day operation, 1944

This photograph was taken on June 9, 1944, three days after the Normandy coastline was established, and shows the enormous scale of the operation to transport men and material for the liberation of Europe.

Descending ships are taking advantage of the low tide to keep cargo ashore on Omaha Beach. Among the identifiable vessels present are LST-532 (in the center of the scene); USS LST-262 (3rd LST from right); USS LST-310 (2nd LST from right); USS LST-533 (partially visible to the right); and USS LST-524. LST-262 was one of 10 Coast Guard-manned LSTs that took part in the invasion of Normandy.

Note the barrage balloons overhead and the Army "half-track" convoy is making it to the beach. These balloons were tied with metal cables and were intended to protect against dive bombers flying at altitudes of up to 5,000 feet (1,500 m), allowing them to fly high and within range of concentrated anti-aircraft fire. Or force the plane to hit the cables. , In some instances there are small explosive charges that would be drawn against the aircraft to ensure its destruction.

The D-Day landing operation was the largest single-day amphibious offensive ever, with 160,000 soldiers, 195,700 naval and merchant navy personnel, and 5,000 ships transplanted from the other side of the English Channel.

Large concrete blocks, nicknamed the mulberry port, were sailed across the channel and used as portable docks. The landing took place along a 50-mile (80 km) stretch of the Normandy coast between Caen and Valognes, divided into five regions: Utah, Omaha, Gould, Juno and Sword.

The fighting on D-Day was so fierce that even today 4% of sand on Normandy beaches are magnetic shrapnel that have been broken into pieces the size of sand over the decades.

The Allies failed to achieve any of their goals on the first day. Carranton, Saint Ley, and Bayeux remained in German hands, and Caen, a major objective, was not captured until 21 July.

On the first day only two beaches (Juno and Gold) were connected, and not all five beaches were connected until 12 June; However, the operation gained a foothold which the Allies gradually expanded over the coming months. German casualties on D-Day have been estimated at 4,000 to 9,000 men. Allied casualties were at least 10,000, with 4,414 confirmed casualties.

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